Monday, March 31, 2014

growing old

I saw this quote today and it made me think of my mother.

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” ~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Something that I loved about my mother was that I don't think she ever thought of her self as a 'grown-up.' You can attribute some of her best qualities to this - she was playful, ever hopeful for the future, adventurous, able to re-make herself at the drop of the hat. The other side of the coin was that she was irresponsible, too quick to fall in love, and sometimes selfish. I loved her young heart, though. While it could make for a difficult parent when I was young, it made for a great friend as I got older. I loved how she could read through a stack of books on anything in one night. I loved that she was always thinking about what she wanted to be when she 'grew up.' I love that the last few years of her life, she was learning to play the djembe drum (inspired by her love of Rusted Root) and had just ordered a slack line (inspired by the movie, Man on Wire). She would see something that interested her, and her mind would immediately resolve that she could do that too. Granted it often didn't result in much, but sometimes it did. When she had the chance to move to South Carolina, Sardinia, and Maui, she jumped right in with little trepidation. She was always a dreamer... she was never 'done.' And because of this, she never grew old.

I've been thinking about this a lot. Now that I have a child, am in the process of purchasing a home, and Aaron is pursuing a PhD that could result in a very long-term career position when he's done, it seems we're finding ourselves settling into adult decisions that could set us on a track for the rest of our lives. Not very long ago I was still thinking about the next move, the next career, the next country, even. I suppose it's good to be content, but what I love about this life are it's possibilities. I want to remain open to them all, just as my mother did, while still providing my children the stability that my parents often couldn't.

I hope to instill in Levi a wonder in the world, just as my mom instilled that in me. I want him to feel that anything is possible. That he can always change, if he wants to. To have hope.

I'm thankful that I'm excited to tell Levi about her. I'm so thankful for who my mother was.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

seven months

I was thinking about skipping the monthly post this month (I'm already two weeks late) but when I told Aaron that, said how much he loved looking back at these little monthly snapshots. So I figured better late than never.

It's funny- every time I write these I look back on the month and struggle on how to describe Levi. The boy at the beginning, middle, and end of each month is very different. In general though it's been a very physical month for him. Levi is standing up all the time (he still needs help getting up, but, once up, he stays). He's also working on crawling. I thought he had no interest in crawling, then all of the sudden he seemed to take to it and tries all the time. He has trouble getting that big head up, which means he scrapes his poor face across the carpet, resulting in some very red cheeks. I think this morning though he had his first true crawl! We also installed a hanging jumper and he LOVES it. He smiles big, then gets a very determined face as he starts jumping, then stops and smiles again.

His eyes are so alive this month. When he looks at you, he communicates so much. He's a laugher and engages so much with the world. It's such a joy to see his sweet personality come through.

Sleep has been a roller coaster this month. He is consistently up once per night to eat still, which is fine by me. Some nights that's it and it's great. Other nights he's up a midnight or earlier screaming, only to be consoled by me. These are tough nights. Naps have been up and down too. Sometimes he goes down like a champ and sleeps for an hour 3-4 times per day. Other days its an hour fight to get him to sleep, only to find he's more awake than ever at the end, ready to take on something new.

The past couple of weeks have also brought something new - clingyness. If Levi is with his babysitter during the day and sees me, he starts to scream. He's started to only be consoled by me at night. I'm usually more successful at naps than anyone else. I love that he feels so bonded with me, and I miss him like crazy too, but it makes for a challenging work day. I hate to hear him cry and know that if I just went to him, he'd be comforted, while also trying to maintain boundaries at work.

I had a few more flights with Levi for a trip to Florida to see my sister. He did great with the flights and loved the trip. Everyone asks if the travel messes him up, but I swear he is happier and sleeps better on quick trips - I think the excitement and distractions tire him out in a really good way. He loved the sand and the waves and the pool. It makes me so excited to share the summer with him.

It has been a wonderful month. Between his sweet kisses, how he hangs on when I hold him, and how his face lights up when I walk in a room, I feel my intense love for him reciprocated in some way for the first time, and it's so rewarding. It also makes the work/life balance all the more challenging. It is so hard to try and ignore that constant tug I feel towards him during the day. But I'm trying to savor my work, savor time with Levi and Aaron, and appreciate all I have.